Blue Streak Breakers: Recap and Chance Data

Thomas Drance
February 23 2012 11:46PM

What was billed as the "biggest game of the Canucks' regular season" lived up to the hype in a big way on Thursday night. Considering that the Canucks, the reigning Western Conference champions and winners of 9 of their last 13 games - rode into the Motor City to face a Red Wings team that hadn't lost at home in an NHL record 23 straight games - that was a lot of hype to live up to. 

The Canucks came out flying and utterly dominated the first period, with the exception of a Bieksa turnover that led to a Darren Helm goal that put the Red Wings up one against the flow of play. In the second period, the Red Wings were dominant (especially in a late period flurry that saw them record five scoring chances in 30 seconds), but the Canucks scored 4-on-4 to even the score.

Then the third period happened, and it was as bad-ass as February hockey gets. New Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey scored on a beauty six minutes into the frame to restore the Red Wings lead. When the Canucks answered with a lucky goal by Cody Hodgson that deflected in off of Johan Franzen's skate - the Red Wings responded just twenty seconds later to restore their one goal lead yet again.

All of which set up a brilliant Sedin sequence with Luongo on the bench and time-ticking down on the clock. Detroit was eighteen seconds away from extending their 23 game home-winning streak when Henrik Sedin spun, and sent a crisp pass to his brother Daniel at the point. Daniel had space to burn with the Red Wings collapsing down-low and he stepped up and fired an absolute bullet past Jimmy Howard to force overtime.

The teams traded chances in the extra frame, with the Canucks generally dominating proceedings (as they usually to do in a 4-on-4 game state), but no one beat either goaltender. In an ironic twist, the Red Wings, whose 23 game home winning streak comes with an asterisk as far as I'm concerned because of the skills competition (yes, I know, I'm a massive kill-joy), saw their streak end on a patented Burrows fore-hand back-hand deke that was the only goal in the shootout.

A more detailed recap, chance data and the statistical three stars and goats after the jump!

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The Biggest Difference Between Luongo and Schneider

Thomas Drance
February 23 2012 02:28PM

When it comes to technique, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider are extremely similar goaltenders. They're both large, athletic goalies who play a reasonably aggressive, technically sound butterfly style. They both like to challenge shooters and cut off the angle, and both have an elite catching mitt, making both of them tough to beat glove side. Schneider is somewhat quicker post-to-post than the older Luongo, and Luongo is somewhat more conservative in his movements - but stylistically, they bring a similar approach to the net.

In terms of their differences, there are the obvious ones. Luongo is from Montreal, Schneider from Marblehead. One came through the QMJHL, and played in the memorial cup - while Schneider is the product of College Hockey, and played in the Frozen Four with Boston College. Schneider is a ginger with an Eisenhower era haircut, while Luongo sports long, flowing Romance novel locks, that seem to be perpetually covered in grease. Luongo is one of the highest paid goaltenders in the NHL, Schneider makes less than a million per year on his second pro-contract. 

But the thing that really stands out between the two is their proficiency with words.

Click past the jump to read on!

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No Apologies Necessary: Just Play the Game

Jeff Paterson
February 23 2012 12:36PM

Since news broke Tuesday morning that Pavel Datsyuk would be missing from the Detroit Red Wings line-up for the next 2-3 weeks, it has been said and it has been written that a Vancouver Canucks win at Joe Louis Arena Thursday would somehow require an asterisk. The suggestion is that if the Canucks are the team to snap the Wings NHL-record 23-game home win streak, the victory will be tainted due to the fact Datsyuk won’t be present and accounted for. It’s a preposterous notion.

Read on past the jump!

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Game #61 Preview - Down With Streaking

Cam Davie
February 23 2012 11:17AM

Burrows and the Canucks had a rough go the last time they were in Motown.
Tonight, they have an upgraded lineup. Plus, they won't face the best player in the league.
(Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Game Day Recon: Game #61 - Canucks @ Red Wings

It's a clash of the top two teams in the Western Conference as the Canucks travel to the Motor City tonight. Detroit and Vancouver go head to head at the Joe, with a streak and bragging rights on the line. There's more than just bragging rights on the line tonight though. There's also power and prestige and fame and first round draft picks and an immediate bye to the Stanley Cup Final, and a trip to Disneyland, and $10 million US to each player on the winning team.

So yeah, it's a big game.

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Deadline Preview: Five Forwards to Target

Jeff Angus
February 23 2012 08:43AM

Thankfully the NHL trade deadline is only a few days away (Monday, February 27th), as the amount of rumours and speculation swirling in the media seems to be at an all-time high. The Canucks are one of only a few contending teams that don’t really need to do anything at the deadline, and sometimes the best moves, are the ones that aren't made.

That said, GM Mike Gillis likely recognizes that his team’s window to win is now, and at the very least he should be working the trade market for some depth at both forward and defense. Earlier this week, Thomas Drance did a thorough inventory of Canucks needs, trade chips and cap-space, and yesterday Cam Charron broke down how the Canucks have fared at previous trade deadlines. Today I'll look into somewhat realistic trade targets, but speculating about picking up depth players isn’t all that interesting. So why don’t we take a look at five of the bigger name forwards who could be made available come Monday morning?

Read on after the jump!

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